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May 16, 2024 08:22 AM UTC

Thursday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“I never guess. It is a shocking habit destructive to the logical faculty.”

–Arthur Conan Doyle


38 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread

  1. My prediction …..

    If he wins, Trump asks for a federal legislation to allow successful candidates for federal office to be indemnified for civil judgments which were incurred during the course of their campaigns. So, Letitia James and Jean Carroll's judgments would be satisfied – out of the federal till. 

    And while Trump may be a beneficary of the legislation, he wouldn't be the only one.

    Gov. Jim Justice Faces Heavy Business Debts as He Seeks Senate Seat – The New York Times (

    Trump will claim that he never would have been sued had he not been exercising his constitutional right to run for office.

    While Senate Majority Leader Rick Scott would probably bring it to the floor, Speaker Jeffries would send it off to where the sun doesn't shine.


    1. It’s a pity she wasn’t there earlier this week. Tommy ‘Tug’erville looked like he needed a hand.

      I expect we’ll be showered with crack legal analysis from BoBo before the lunch break? Maybe she can find an aspiring esquire in the hallway to come home with her and represent her lawyer-less spawn?

      To quote George Conway as she entered the courtroom, “Let’s hope the lights don’t go out!”

        1. What's striking is that Tyler can't seem to hire private counsel, which means mom (and dad) aren't willing to pay for it.  Kid sure has screwed up, but an 18-year-old kid being left alone in the criminal justice system is a pathetic comments on Lauren and Jayson as parents.  I'd be royally pissed if my kid did what Tyler is accused of doing, but I wouldn't let my kid alone in court or without counsel who could represent his interests.  Yet, Lauren will show up for trump's trial, for her place in the performative jackass hall of lickspittles, and for a wholly improper purpose–to attempt to influence ongoing NY state criminal proceedings.  I would love to see her charged with something someday and watch the chickens come home to roost for her. 

          1. Boebert crowed about becoming a grandmother after her son knocked up a 15 year old girl. I have yet to hear Boebert even mention the young woman's name.

          2. Traditional white trash family values.

            When mom and dad have a combined annual income of at least $650,000 (excluding the campaign mileage reimbursement), why not get the government to pay for the defense of junior. 

            I'm guessing he's also getting his allotment of free government cheese.

  2. Reading the Cohen testimony I feel like anyone who buddies up with Trump runs the risk of being in Cohen's position. Trump demands loyalty and gives none in return. One wrong move and people go from Trump's bestie to pariah with a juvenile nickname in no time.

    1. Broke, in jail or both.  That's the price of loyalty to Trump.  Funny how many of his associates seem to share a certain set of characteristics.

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        1. Steve Bannon won't be joining in the parade of Trumpanzee bootlickers harassing witnesses, jurors, and jurists.

          Bannon will be behind bars soon, for contempt of Congress following his refusal to testify about January 6. The D o J requested an end to the stay that kept him out of jail, after Bannon lost his appeal of the convictions.

          And that's not even counting his trial for defrauding gullible Republicans and other donors for the imaginary "wall" on the border. That trial starts May the same New York courtroom as the Trump trial.

          So, no, we have no Bannon-ons. We have no Bannon-ons today. But we will in a couple of weeks!

          1. And Giuliani really should learn to keep his piehole shut, at least when it comes to defaming election workers. He filed for bankruptcy to try to avoid paying the $148 million  judgement he was ordered to pay Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, two Georgia election workers. But he continues to defame them….and they're fighting back.

            Meanwhile, in Arizona, Rudy G has yet another set of charges to deal with – the false elector scheme that he helped to promote is finally coming back to haunt him. So he's hiding.…but he can't hide forever.

  3. Boebert campaigning in New York.  She's in an interesting set:

    CNN has a list of the Republicans on a road trip today.

    • Rep. Mike Waltz
    • Rep. Bob Good
    • Rep. Diana Harshbarger
    • Rep. Matt Gaetz
    • Rep. Andy Biggs
    • Rep. Eli Crane
    • Rep. Ralph Norman
    • Rep. Lauren Boebert
    • Rep. Michael Cloud
    • Rep. Andy Ogles
    • Rep. Anna Paulina Luna

    Mark Sumner, from Daily Kos, also wonders "In addition to how they get to play hooky from their jobs, is anyone checking exactly how they’re paying for this little jog up to New York and back again?"  Suppose there will be a mileage reimbursement or ticket purchase in the next Boebert campaign finance report?

  4. The New Republic has an article titled Lauren Boebert Admits Exactly Why Trump Stooges Descended on Trial

    In it, they share a Boebert X-ing …

    Boebert seemed to acknowledge that she was acting as a surrogate to violate Trump’s gag order, writing on X, “They may have gagged President Trump. They didn’t gag me. They didn’t gag the rest of us.”

    The article concludes:

    Merchan previously noted that, as Trump has violated his gag order ten times, he may have to consider jail time should he violate it again. For Merchan to take action on surrogates, there would need to be proof that Trump directed them to speak. With these blabbermouths, direct admission seems to be just a matter of time.

  5. Nice Turn of the Phrase, Michael Cohen. H/T Josh Kovensky at TPM.

    I have to admit I love the way Cohen formulated this just now: “There was no shame in being personal attorney to the President of the United States.” Cha-ching!

  6. Reporters are fascinated with the "value" of Trump Media stock and the potential windfall if it somehow maintains a non-zero price when he is allowed to sell.

    In their first few weeks of trading, shares of Truth Social’s parent company soared, then crashed, and have recently made a strong recovery. Former President Donald J. Trump’s holding is now worth about $6 billion.

    But a look beyond the headlines shows this is essentially a mirage sustained by the sharks preying on the gullible marks and their soon-to-be-torched money.

    A recent analysis of the ownership of Trump Media shares by S&P Global Market Intelligence found that Mr. Trump, corporate insiders and an entity closely affiliated with Trump Media owned nearly 96 percent of the social media company’s stock. Retail investors owned about 3.9 percent of Trump Media’s stock, or roughly 5.4 million shares, and institutional investors owned less than 1 percent.

    With 96% of shares closely held, the stock is thinly traded by the 3.9% of retail customers, so large swings in value can be created by relatively little volume.  That's exactly what the sharks do in classic "pump and dump" schemes to make their profit.

    Justin Yochum, a co-owner of Selway, an Idaho-based investment advisory firm, said the firm had bought the warrants as part of a complex trading strategy to profit on the price difference between Trump Media’s shares and its warrants.

    “I believe the company itself is worth zero,” Mr. Yochum said.

    The problem for Trump and his fellow vultures is that when time to dump their share comes, there aren't enough suckers left to absorb 96% of a Potemkin village stock.  For his billionaire backers, it won't even work as a back door campaign contribution, since greedy Trump will keep it all for himself, and not spend it on the campaign, much less his legal defense, unless he absolutely has to.  Although the billionaires might think of it as a prepaid bribe for future favors.

  7. And … the regularly scheduled release of financial information from Trump's endeavor will be delayed:

    Trump Media & Technology Group filed a notice to the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday that it would delay its quarterly filing, just days after the regulator charged its former auditor with fraud.

    Former US President Donald Trump’s media company said it was unable to complete the review of its financial statement for the quarter ended March 31 due to the timing of its appointment of Semple, Marchal & Cooper as the new auditor.

    So what's going on?   Trump’s Failing Media Company Desperately Scrambles to Find Scapegoat

    As of Wednesday, TMTG stock was trading at $35 a share, half of its peak price after the company’s initial public offering in March. Since its stock market debut, the company has suffered a series of setbacks, from SEC filings showing staggering losses to two of its investors being indicted for insider trading. The company’s total losses are said to be at least $2 billion

      1. And 50 years later, treason is the new “Patriotism” according to the Traditional Values Party… 

        And in Alito’s upside down thinking, he believes the Founding Fathers intended only Congress to have the authority and responsibility to micromanage each governmental action via legislation to sign the check for any rules governing our nation.

        A federal law authorizing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to draw funding from the Federal Reserve System does not violate the appropriations clause, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

        Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the majority opinion upholding the funding mechanism for the agency. Two fellow conservatives, Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, dissented.

          1. I read the write-up about the CFPB SCOTUS decision yesterday. Justice Thomas, who may not be as far gone as some on the left think, gently admonished Justice Alito's thinking in his majority opinion. I didn't read it all, but it's possible that Thomas was thinking Congress passing the CFPB was sufficient to satisfy the appropriations issue, since Congress created the funding mechanism.

          2. Essentially, radical “conservatives” want to dismantle the administrative state — meaning get rid of regulatory agencies with their subject matter experts and their pesky rules that restrain business from dumping toxic chemicals, selling dangerous products, etc. and essentially gridlock the government by mandating that any “regulation” must take an Act of Congress to pass before it can take effect. 

            CFPB really sticks in their craw because it was the brainchild of Sen. Elizabeth Warren.  So they hoped this challenge would take away their funding. But the EPA, OSHA, FDA, are also high on their “They must be destroyed” list. 

            Here is a good article explaining it much better than me.

            1. The far right wing MAGA radicals have prepared Project 2025 as the blueprint for the next Trump administration, if it happens.

        1. Is the federal reserve the same as the treasury? If not it would seem that the article does not apply as this funding is from fees the federal reserve collects?

          1. No, the Treasury Department is a cabinet-level organization within the Executive Branch funded by Congress.  Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was the former head of the Fed, which is a completely independent agency funded, as you say, by fees imposed on banks.  CFPB is under the Fed.  The point being to make them outside of political influence, both Executive and Legislative.  Rightwingers came from the funding approach because they thought they could win that way.  But the goal is the same — disable the “Administrative State” using the courts to override long held precedents that recognize that no government can succeed without a functioning bureaucracy.

            Rightwingers’ goal is to have a non-functioning bureaucracy, and when they appoint incompetent or malicious administrators like Trump did, (think Louis DeJoy of the Postal Service, Rick Perry for Energy, etc.) whose job is to dismantle and destroy their agency.

            1. "Rightwingers’ goal is to have a non-functioning bureaucracy"

              Once we go back on the gold standard, or better yet, on to a barter system (IIRC, Sharon Angle in Nevada tried putting that out as a model for health care finance during the great debates over Obamacare 14 years ago), we won't need the Fed or paper currency.

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